Bahrain appeals court revokes jail for medics

A Bahrain appeals court on Thursday acquitted 21 Shiite medics who had been sentenced to three months in jail each for taking part in anti-regime protests in 2011, lawyers said.

Two other medics did not appeal the November verdict meted out to the 23 defendants of three months in prison or payment of 200 dinars ($530), the lawyers said, without elaborating.

The medics had been convicted of committing crimes and violations, breaching the law and the medical norms, as well as taking part in unauthorised demonstrations.

They were among a group of 47 medics rounded up in the wake of a crackdown on Shiite-led protests in March 2011. Many medics allege they were tortured in custody.

Nine of them were handed jail terms of between one month and five years, while nine others were acquitted and two remain at large.

Sporadic protests still take place in mainly Shiite neighbourhoods of the minority Sunni-led kingdom.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights, a total of 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the violence broke out on February 14, 2011.